World Cup 2018: Croatia v England

Published on: 11 July 2018

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Mandzukic nets extra-time winner against England

England's bid to reach a first World Cup final since 1966 came to an agonising end as they lost in extra time to Croatia in Moscow.

Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal in the 109th minute of the semi-final, slotting in from Ivan Perisic's flick-on into the area.

Gareth Southgate's side - playing England's first semi-final since they were beaten on a penalties by West Germany at Italia 90 - were given the perfect start through Kieran Trippier's 20-yard free-kick after only five minutes, but Perisic's 68th-minute equaliser sent the match into extra time.

England's players were inconsolable at the final whistle as the dream was snatched away and they can take great pride and credit from this World Cup - but the pain was etched on their faces as well as that of manager Southgate.

Croatia, in sharp contrast, were jubilant and will now face France in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.

Unfancied before the competition, England defied expectations by reaching the semi-finals, but were undone by an experienced Croatia side.

Harry Kane's golden touch deserted him when he missed a great chance to double their lead while Jesse Lingard also wasted a chance by shooting wide.

As England allowed their opportunity to slip from their grasp, Croatia grew in confidence.

England lost momentum after the break and were punished when Perisic stole in ahead of Kyle Walker for an athletic finish.

Croatia, with Luka Modric the orchestrator, took control as England faded, with Perisic hitting the post and Jordan Pickford saving magnificently from Mandzukic, before the striker made the decisive contribution with 11 minutes of extra time left.

The 32-year-old reacted quicker than John Stones in the area to beat Pickford - and England had nothing left to give.

England will now play Belgium in Saturday's third/fourth place play-off in St Petersburg.

    Relive Croatia's win over England Player Rater: Croatia v England

England's pride and pain

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'Pinpoint' Trippier free-kick gives England early lead

England's disappointment at seeing their hopes come crashing down when they were so close to a place they have not inhabited for 52 years will be made more acute by the sense of missed opportunity.

They controlled the first half here in Moscow and, with Croatia initially looking out of sorts after going through the physical demands of extra time and penalties in their two previous games, England will know they could have settled this game in that crucial phase.

Instead, Croatia grew in stature and by the end it was Zlatko Dalic's side who carried the greater energy and threat while England ran out of steam.

England's expectation had reached fever pitch and they will regret their failure to take advantage of that spell when they were in control.

There was nothing that could offer solace to Southgate and England's players as they stood saluting their supporters at the end - but the reaction from the travelling fans was an indicator of what they achieved in Russia.

England's fans rose as one to give them a standing ovation in a show of appreciation for their best run at a major competition since Euro 96 - and a far cry from the humiliation of failing to get out of the group stage in Brazil four years ago and the Euro 2016 elimination by minnows Iceland in the last 16.

Southgate and his players have conducted themselves superbly and offered enough to take renewed optimism into the next phase of England's development.

One game too far?

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World Cup 2018: Ivan Perisic equalises for Croatia against England

England's loss to Croatia looked like a case of one game too far for a squad who have given so much over the course of a long Premier League season and here in Russia.

It should be stressed that Croatia's effort was magnificent given their own exertions in the last two knockout rounds - but England looked like a spent force as this game went on.

England captain Harry Kane gave it everything but the sharpness was not there, removing a crucial threat as they searched for the spark to re-ignite their World Cup ambitions.

Dele Alli also looked short of full power after a bright start, as did Jesse Lingard, and even the introduction of Marcus Rashford could not fire England up.

England looked ready to run riot in the first half, with Sterling outstanding, but they were flat from the start of the second period, allowing Croatia to get up a head of steam that in the end proved unstoppable.

Southgate must now rouse his players for the third-place play-off against Belgium in St Petersburg on Saturday - a tough task given the scale of their disappointment and the raw emotion of this bitter loss.

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World Cup 2018: Croatia 2-1 England (aet) highlightsEngland's next step

England will leave Russia after their final match on Saturday with their reputation on the highest stage restored after the embarrassment of recent years.

Southgate has grown into the job and has been outstanding here, while players such as Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire and the brilliant Kieran Trippier have acquired new respect for their deeds and enhanced their profile.

England have been given an identity by a group of players who reflect the modest, mature approach of their manager and in a style of play Southgate has developed and insists will serve them well in the future.

Most observers regarded a quarter-final as a respectable outcome in Russia, so to reach the last four is to be lauded.

There can be no disguising that the draw offered England an opportunity to reach a World Cup final that they just didn't have the power to take - the future, however, is bright and full of hope.

Set-piece specialists - the stats

    England have now been eliminated in four of their five semi-finals at major tournaments, losing each of the last four they have reached (Euro 1968 v Yugoslavia, World Cup 1990 v Germany, Euro 1996 v Germany and World Cup 2018 v Croatia). Croatia have qualified for their first ever World Cup final in their fifth appearance at the World Cup finals. England have lost three competitive games against Croatia (3) since the turn of the Millennium, more than any against any other nation. Mario Mandzukic's winning goal was the latest goal ever conceded by England in a World Cup match (108 minutes, three seconds). Kieran Trippier became the first player to score a direct free-kick for England at the World Cup since David Beckham in 2006 (against Ecuador). Ivan Perisic has been involved in 10 goals at major tournaments for Croatia (6 goals, 4 assists), the joint-most, level with Davor Suker (9 goals, 1 assist). Trippier's goal after 4 minutes and 44 seconds was the fastest goal scored in a World Cup semi-final since 1958 (Vava after two minutes for Brazil v France). Croatia became the first team to play extra time in three consecutive World Cup matches since England in 1990. England scored nine goals from set pieces at the 2018 World Cup - the most by a team in a single World Cup tournament since 1966. Four of the five 2018 World Cup matches to go to extra time have involved either England or Croatia (the other was Spain v Russia).
    Line-ups Match Stats Live Text







    3StrinicSubstituted forPivaricat 95'minutes


    18RebicBooked at 96minsSubstituted forKramaricat 101'minutes

    10ModricSubstituted forBadeljat 119'minutes



    17MandzukicBooked at 48minsSubstituted forCorlukaat 115'minutes






    12L Kalinic









    2WalkerBooked at 54minsSubstituted forVardyat 112'minutes



    8HendersonSubstituted forDierat 97'minutes

    12TrippierSubstituted forat 116'minutes



    18YoungSubstituted forRoseat 90'minutes


    10SterlingSubstituted forRashfordat 74'minutes















Cüneyt Çakir



Match Stats

Home TeamCroatiaAway TeamEngland







Shots on Target









Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Croatia 2, England 1.

Posted at 120'+5'

Second Half Extra Time ends, Croatia 2, England 1.

Posted at 120'+4'

Hand ball by Milan Badelj (Croatia).

Posted at 120'+2'

Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 120'+2'

Foul by Jamie Vardy (England).

Posted at 120'+1'

Foul by Ivan Rakitic (Croatia).

Posted at 120'+1'

Dele Alli (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 120'

Attempt missed. Andrej Kramaric (Croatia) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Marcelo Brozovic.

SubstitutionPosted at 119'

Substitution, Croatia. Milan Badelj replaces Luka Modric.

Posted at 117'

Foul by Luka Modric (Croatia).

Posted at 117'

Dele Alli (England) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at 116'

Foul by Domagoj Vida (Croatia).

Posted at 116'

Jordan Pickford (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 116'

Attempt saved. Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Andrej Kramaric.

Posted at 116'

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Posted at 116'

Kieran Trippier went off injured after England had used all subs.

SubstitutionPosted at 115'

Substitution, Croatia. Vedran Corluka replaces Mario Mandzukic because of an injury.

Posted at 115'

Delay in match Kieran Trippier (England) because of an injury.

Posted at 114'

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Harry Maguire.

Posted at 114'

Attempt missed. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Josip Pivaric.

SubstitutionPosted at 112'

Substitution, England. Jamie Vardy replaces Kyle Walker.

Posted at 111'

Foul by Ivan Perisic (Croatia).

Posted at 111'

Kyle Walker (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 110'

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 110'

Foul by Kieran Trippier (England).

Goal!Posted at 109'

Goal! Croatia 2, England 1. Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ivan Perisic with a headed pass.

Posted at 108'

Attempt missed. Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic following a corner.

Posted at 107'

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Jesse Lingard.

Posted at

Second Half Extra Time begins Croatia 1, England 1.

Posted at 105'+4'

First Half Extra Time ends, Croatia 1, England 1.

Posted at 105'+4'

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Posted at 105'+3'

Delay in match Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) because of an injury.

Posted at 105'+2'

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Jordan Pickford.

Posted at 105'+2'

Attempt saved. Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ivan Perisic with a cross.

Posted at 105'+1'

Attempt blocked. Andrej Kramaric (Croatia) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ivan Perisic.

Posted at 104'

Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 104'

Foul by Harry Kane (England).

SubstitutionPosted at 101'

Substitution, Croatia. Andrej Kramaric replaces Ante Rebic.

Posted at 101'

Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Posted at 101'

Foul by Marcus Rashford (England).

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